I recently read a rather fun YA book series wherein all the characters who were not completely evil got some sort of redemption. The author herself says that these were her pandemic comfort writing project. There’s a lot to like about the books; the ethics of empire are discussed, and the ethics required of superheroes are demonstrated – if you, in your person, are a weapon of mass destruction, what rules do you live by, so that you do not turn into a monster?
But I don’t believe. Not everyone can be redeemed. Some people lack empathy. Others lack the capacity for introspection that allows them to recognize their failings. Still others have made irrevocable choices that turn them into monsters in human skin suits. What redemption was there for Hilter’s captains? What for the people who decided, monstrously, to spread covid throughout the United States? To the group that probably plotted to give the cruel murderer Mohammed bin Salman the ability to manufacture nuclear weapons, and may have successfully done so? Not only do I not see redemption for these, I do not even see that they ought to be allowed to live.
Yes, Donald J. Trump has led me to reconsider the death penalty. He is not only an alleged rapist and a likely traitor, he has not only likely started a civil war in the USA, he seems to have taken actions that might yet cause World War III. He has had numerous opportunities to recognize the damage he has done and make amends and has not done so – he is one of those who both lack empathy and the capacity for introspection. Do we allow him to continue his depredations?